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Why Emily Ratajkowski wrote essay about Robin Thicke allegedly groping her on 'Blurred Lines' shoot: 'Those women on set were not in power’

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Emily Ratajkowski had reservations about sharing her experience on the set of “Blurred Lines” with the world.

Earlier this month, an excerpt from the We Are Your Friends star’s upcoming book My Body was released, in which Ratajkowski claimed that Robin Thicke groped her on the set of his 2013 music video for the controversial hit “Blurred Lines.” Ratajkowski and several other women were topless in the video, which was directed by Diane Martel.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: In this image released on September 22, Emily Ratajkowski attends Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 presented by Amazon Prime Video at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on September 24, 2021. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)
Emily Ratajkowski speaks out about her "Blurred Lines" essay. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

Ratajkowski wrote, per The Sunday Times, “Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger's hands cupping my bare breasts from behind. I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke.”

Martel confirmed the incident to The Sunday Times, telling the outlet, “I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, 'What the f— are you doing, that's it!! The shoot is over!!”

In a conversation with Tarana Burke and Anita Hill for Time, Ratajkowski said she initially didn’t want to share that experience with the world.

“It was not an essay that I wanted to write, because I am familiar with the way that sexual assault allegations — even just the terms ‘sexual assault’ and ‘allegations’ — have such weight in our culture. It’s picked up by the media, and it’s turned into clickbait,” she said. “I hope that we live in a world where people will understand that these things are more complicated than what the media [reports] and the way that things are perceived online.”

Ratajkowski, who became a household name following the success of the music video, said that the point she was trying to make in her essay was that initially, she had felt more comfortable on that set due to the crew being predominantly women.

​​“Compared to a lot of jobs that I was working at the time as an unknown model, I actually did feel quite comfortable,” she explained. “But ultimately, those women on set were not in power.”

Ratajkowski has spoken out before about other experiences in which she felt her body was violated. In 2016, photographer Jonathan Leder released a book of explicit Polaroids he took of the star prior to her rise to fame, which Ratajkowski said was published without her permission.

Over a series of tweets, she wrote, “This book and the images within them are a violation. 5 out of the now 100s of released photos were used for what they were intended: an artful magazine shoot back in 2012. These photos being used w/out my permission is an example of exactly the opposite of what I stand for: women choosing when and how they want to share their sexuality and bodies.”

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